Co-Founder and Executive Director
Alison grew up in Reno, Nevada and developed a love of reading at an early age. Alison was such an obsessive reader that the worst punishment she remembers receiving was when her mother took away her books to make her play outside. One of her earliest reading memories includes reading ahead in Superfudge by Judy Blume in second grade and informing her teacher that no one else should read the book because it stated that Santa Claus did not exist.
As an adult, Alison still considers herself an avid reader. She is part of two book clubs, has an ambitious reading goal each year, and loves the Modern Mrs. Darcy podcast. She makes a point to visit independent bookstores on every vacation, and always has a book in her purse and an audiobook in the car. Her TBR grows exponentially each day (much to the exasperation of her husband), and she is constantly scouring the internet for new reads.
An attorney by trade, Alison is a graduate of Santa Clara University (B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies), Fordham University (M.A. in Ethics & Society), and Marquette University Law School (J.D.). She is a member of the Nevada and California Bar Associations.
Alison is delighted to be part of The Literacy Project and cannot wait to help Northern Nevada students discover the same world of reading that shaped, and continues to shape, her life.
She recommends any book by Jacqueline Woodson (If You Come Softly, Brown Girl Dreaming, or Red at the Bone), Normal People by Sally Rooney, and Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o.
Co-Founder, Education Consultant & District Liaison
Kristen is the Data Coach at enCompass Academy, a charter high school in Reno, Nevada. After working for seven years as a social studies teacher in Washoe County, Nevada, Kristen was recruited to work with the students at enCompass to improve the school's climate and culture, including implementing an alternative dispute resolution program for student discipline. Kristen also advises teachers, and conducts statistical research to track education outcomes of her students.
Kristen developed a love of reading when she was gifted a box set of the Nancy Drew books for Christmas. Kristen's passion continued on through high school and college. Kristen attended the University of Nevada, Reno where she majored in Spanish and Secondary Education. In her studies, Kristen read widely and deeply, and developed a love for foreign language novels.
As a social studies teacher, Kristen loves to incorporate a variety of texts into her lesson plans, and often focuses on primary sources to help her students understand the time period they study.
Kristen is excited to be part of The Literacy Project. She loves working with at-risk youth, and has a passion with putting books into the hands of students.
Kristen recommends the book Monster by Walter Dean Myers.
Tiana Santee is a proud Reno native and attended Washoe County schools from K - 12. She recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a major in Human Development & Family Studies and a minor in English Literature. Tiana plans to step back into the district as a long-term substitute teacher for first grade. Tiana has also spent the last six years teaching dance to preschool children in the Reno and Sparks areas. She is a Competition Team Director and office administrator for the Loft Dance Theater Arts, a local dance studio.
For as long as Tiana can remember, her parents have always instilled in her a love of reading; she started picking up books for herself by the age of three. Tiana wants to bring her current knowledge of social media and marketing to The Literacy Project, along with her love of literature to pass along to the students The Literacy Project serves.
Tiana's all time favorite children's series is Junie B. Jones, by Barbara Park.